Breaking Through the Barriers – 10:30 Service

How did this message impact you? Share your testimony

Manuscript:

Introduction:

Acts 10:34-43

Thank you again for being here today on this Easter Sunday. If you are worshiping with us online, thank you for joining us in that way. We would love to know that you are with us so I would invite you to type a short message in the chat box or let us know how we can be praying for you.

One of the most meaningful things in my life is music. From an early age, I walked around the house with a tape player and would recorded myself singing and making up songs on the piano. I recall my family encouraging me to be a part of music because music is something that you can have and enjoy all your life.

My dad and uncle were percussionists and in 5th grade I began my journey as a drummer. One of the first things that you learn is the importance of resonance. When you strike a drum head or a percussion instrument, that action causes the sound of the strike to resonate within the structure and reverberate sound. How it resonates changes based on where you strike it. When you dampen the drum head by placing your hand on it, it sound is not allowed to resonate beyond the impact point and reverberate.

Example: Reverberation of a drum

Resonation happens when any matter touches another piece of matter.

  • Example: Creating a storm with our hands
  • Rub hands together
  • Snap fingers
  • Pat legs
  • Stomp feet
  • Pat legs
  • Snap fingers
  • Rub hands together

To resonate means to “produce or be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound.”

In the Bible, we have an entire book in the New Testament that is dedicated to sharing the stories of how the resurrection of Christ is resonating throughout Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

This man named Jesus shook the world to its core as He healed the sick, served the poor and needy, performed miracles, and then entered Jerusalem on a donkey, was arrested, beaten, crucified, and died. But then the tomb stone was rolled away and Jesus was not there. He had risen! He appeared to His followers and commissioned them to “go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

He was calling them to be the resonate witnesses to the world, to reverberate the message of love, grace, and truth to everyone that would hear.

The book of Acts is a record of the disciples carrying out this mission to the world. Our passage today comes from Acts 10:34-43 and you can turn there now and it will be on the screens in a few moments.

Movement 1:

This text comes in the middle of the story about the Roman soldier named Cornelius. Cornelius was a God-fearing and good man who was generous and gave offerings to the poor. An angel of the Lord appeared to Cornelius and told him that God had accepted his prayers and gifts to the poor as an offering. The angel told him to find Simon Peter so he sent a few trusted confidants to find him. While an angel was appearing to Cornelius, God was also speaking to Peter and he had given him visions of “animals, reptiles, and birds. 13 Then a voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” 14 “No, Lord,” Peter declared. “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean.” 15 But the voice spoke again: “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.”

Peter was interrupted in this vision by the entourage that Cornelius has sent and they invited Peter to the house of Cornelius and so Peter went. When he arrived, “Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. 29 So I came without objection as soon as I was sent for.” Cornelius told Peter why he had sent for him and this is where we hear our passage today beginning at verse 34.

Here the Word of the Lord.

Acts 10:34-43
34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism. 35 In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right. 36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee, after John began preaching his message of baptism. 38 And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

39 “And we apostles are witnesses of all he did throughout Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a cross, 40 but God raised him to life on the third day. Then God allowed him to appear, 41 not to the general public, but to us whom God had chosen in advance to be his witnesses. We were those who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. 43 He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.”

It’s this time of year where we are engulfed in March Madness. My wife, Angelia, was surprised to hear that I filled out 7 brackets this year – all busts!. There is always a lot of hype surrounding the selection of teams who will make the tournament. Who is in and who is out. Of course, there are always disagreements and the “woulda, coulda, shoulda’s”. As our country divides over important and unimportant issues (like March madness), social media becomes a trove of opinion launching and the command that “I don’t want to debate or hear disagreements or I will delete your comment”. We are desperate to be affirmed, to get those reactions and shares on social media but worse, we are confident that somehow, we know something that others don’t and we are in and “they” are out.

You either agree and you are in, or you disagree and you are out. “Boundaries and categories seem to be the default mode of human conversation in handling complex issues of behavior, religion, race, politics, sexuality, etc. In and out, right or wrong, clean or unclean have been amongst our most typical conversations since the creation of humankind.”

Movement 2:

This was very apparent in the time of Jesus and as Peter engages with Cornelius. But God had revealed to both of them that the barriers that had been erected needed to be removed.

If the disciples were really going to be able to fulfill the commissioning of Christ to “go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” then these walls of division, the labels of clean or unclean, were going to need to go away.

Peter confesses that the Roman Centurion Cornelius was just as much accepted before God as any physical decedent of Abraham (“I see very clearly that God shows no28 favoritism). Galatians 3:28 articulates it this way “ There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

The atoning sacrifice of Christ was sufficient for each person and for all. The promise of “great joy for all people” is told to the Shepherds in Bethlehem (Lk 2:10). Then, through the ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit God’s “all” expands from the people of Israel to everyone including the gentiles (v43).

“16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

“Up from the tomb He arose and the barriers of division and categories of human power cannot hold. The power of God is too great and the Spirit of God carries the church into conversion: from legalistic Jews to card carrying gentiles in the Roman army and everywhere in between.”

In the power of the resurrection, we are all bound to the promise of God to reconcile all things, to forgive all things, to go all places, so that in the face of division we can proclaim Jesus is Lord of all! Like Peter and Cornelius, we are now witnesses.”

God has chosen us in his grace, not being partial to any one person. We must choose how we will respond to his grace.

Movement 3:

What shall we do? What is the significance for us today that Peter wants us to take away?

The resonation of the resurrection has continued for over 2000 years, echoing the Gospel of Christ. This Good News is good because it means that each of us here are God’s very own creation and he desires a relationship with us.

Resonate with our creator

Christ became the Way for us to have a relationship with God the Father – He tore the veil in two that separated humanity from enter the holy of holies in the temple.

Since we are created for relationship, we are also created for relationship with one another. Christ rose from the grave so that we can have a relationship with God and share his love and grace with those around us.

Resonate with another

Resonate with sound

We are to embody the Gospel which leads us to give voice and proclaim the grace we ourselves experience.

Conclusion:

God sent his Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our transgressions. He broke down the barrier between us and God, life and death, those in and those out. Christ came and broke down the barrier that traps us in the lies, the addictions, the pain, and the heartache. That barrier is broken through by surging the light of hope, and grace, and love – beckoning us to see the risen Christ and accept the forgiveness that he offers.

Each one of us have been created in the image of Christ and have been extended His grace and love. Today, each of us are on a different place along the journey but we all have the choice to make.

Do you find yourself trapped in the barriers of defeat and despair? Are you bound by the walls that keep you addicted? Have you grown complacent? Do you sense a void in your life?

Jesus came and died and rose again to free us from our despair, free us from our addictions, give us hope and direction, and fill us with joy overflowing.

Response:

Invitation Prayer Communion

Communion:

As we continue to reflect on these questions, we will be well-served to remember that being formed into being more like Jesus is a process that takes place over time. There will always be areas of our life that need to be worked on but the Good News is that the love of Christ and his provision for us is always enough to speak truth to us, meet our needs, and give us strength to live out this faith.

It is through the receiving of communion that we intentionally remember His provision for us.

The Communion Supper, instituted by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a sacrament, which proclaims His life, His sufferings, His sacrificial death and resurrection, and the hope of His coming again. It shows forth the Lord’s death until His return.

The Supper is a means of grace in which Christ is present by the Spirit. It is to be received in reverent appreciation and gratefulness for the work of Christ. We have an open table, so you do not have to be a member of GracePoint to receive communion. Everyone who acknowledge Christ as Savior or who desire to believe in Christ and receive His grace and forgiveness are invited to participate in communion.

We come to the table that we may be renewed in life and salvation and be made one by the Spirit. In unity with the Church, we confess our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

And so, we pray:

Holy God, we gather at this, your table, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, who by your Spirit was anointed to preach good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, set at liberty those who are oppressed. Christ healed the sick, fed the hungry, ate with sinners, and established the new covenant for forgiveness of sins. We live in the hope of His coming again.

Words of Institution

On the night in which He was betrayed, He took bread, gave thanks, broke the bread, gave it to His disciples, and said: “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Likewise, when the supper was over, he took the cup, gave thanks, gave it to His disciples, and said: “Drink from this, all of you, this is my blood of the new covenant, poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Epiclesis (Prayer of Consecration)

And so, we gather as the Body of Christ to offer ourselves to you in praise and thanksgiving. Pour out your Holy Spirit on us and on these your gifts. Make them by the power of your Spirit to be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the Body of Christ, redeemed by His blood.

By your Spirit make us one in Christ, one with each other, and one in the ministry of Christ to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen.

Receiving of Elements

Body of Christ

The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was broken for you, preserve you blameless, unto ever- lasting life. Take and eat this, in remembrance that Christ died for you.

Blood of Christ

The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for you, preserve you blameless unto ever- lasting life. Drink this, in remembrance that Christ’s blood was shed for you, and be thankful.

Benediction:

May the loving power of God, which raised Jesus to new life, break down the barriers in your life, may He strengthen you in hope, enrich you with his love, and fill you with joy in the faith. And now, may the God of peace, who brought back again from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, all this is pleasing to him. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Resonate With The Sound Of Resurrection
Resonate With The Sound Of Resurrection
Resonate With The Sound Of Resurrection